This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, on Monday we had a special Guest Michael Nulty, Michael is the author of “Getting Beyond What Is” and on Monday he wrote a beautiful post Promoting Positive Mental Change. On Tuesday we wrote about the Signs & Symptoms of Depression where I described my own experience, Yesterday you read about my journey and the first steps I took through the healing process… In the post Starting to Heal I described to you how were my first months with depression and how thanking a book ( Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo), I’ve read years ago incentivized me to search for my hooks and yarn and start to crochet.
Crochet was the first big step to my recovery… But, Why is crochet so good for people that have Mental Health Problems? Is proofed that crafting reduces various forms of anxiety it keeps your hands busy and your mind focused on what you are doing so your mind stays calm. The repetition of the craft releases serotonin which is a natural anti-depressant. CNN recently reported from 3500 knitters/ crocheters 81% with depression reported that after knitting or crocheting they felt happy.
There are other many benefits of crocheting and knitting, for example, it helps to build self-esteem and postpones dementia, but, today I won’t get into detail because soon we will have an interview with the Author of Crochet Saved my Life the amazing Kathryn Vercillo.
So back to one year ago…
I was a manager, during my career my job was to save companies from bankruptcy by developing projects to reduce costs and stay open and functioning not having to dismiss employees, so when from one day to another I found myself not being able even to read a simple book, I felt useless. Crochet helped me to regain trust in myself… I started with simple granny squares that became blankets and I felt so proud of myself, It brought me so much happiness. From the granny square blankets I started to make bucket bags made of cotton and when the first one was finished I was so proud that I wanted to go out and show the bag to the world… I wanted to have some feedback I wanted to see if people would like my bag too or if it was just me, and the feedback was great. People stopped in me in the streets to ask me where I bought the bag, I didn’t answer my husband usually explained, I wasn’t ready yet to speak with people… I thought that I wanted to become an artist and I decided to make it a business… This idea turned out not be a good one… I wasn’t ready yet, because handmade items take time to be made and the old manager in me was already planning to open a company, I was already thinking about how many bags I had to sell per month in order to become successful and build a brand… I was planning how much money I needed to have in order to invest in marketing and materials… And when I stopped to calculate how long it took to make one bag I freaked out. My husband was happy looking at all the beautiful things I was creating and incentivized me and was also planning and helping me to the develop the idea…. but I wasn’t ready I started to feel the pressure and what was something that began to calm me and make me feel good became a nightmare… I saw that suddenly I was losing interest in it… suddenly I was feeling bad again, I wasn’t waking up early in the morning happy to start crocheting. It became a job, it became my career and I associated job, a career with the stress I felt months before the panic attack.
End of October, I thought I was well. I went out to celebrate Halloween. In November I had family over for a weekend. Travelled to Barcellona and Eastern Europe, I pushed myself to the limit… I wanted to prove that I was ok, that I was fine, I wanted to show that I was cured.
December was tough… Every day I had mixed feelings about what happened, I started to write posts about my experiences here in England at work, explaining the triggers to my depression. I was feeling mistreated, I was giving the fault of my illness to the company I worked for and to the managers (the client), I was blaming them for the end of my career that I’ve worked so hard to build. I became very negative and the level of self-pity was over the top, I was becoming this angry negative person that no one wanted to have around… I had no good words for anybody. I was constantly thinking of ways to have revenge so I would feel better. This phase didn’t last long. I knew that in order to heal I had to take responsibility for my feelings and forgive. I knew that I had to find the positive aspects of what happened in order to rebuild my life, so I started to crochet again, but no business this time just my beautiful colourful blankets. I was calm again…
As depression and panic attacks arrived with no warning the “Healing ” also arrived with no warning…
Beginning of January 2018 I decided to push myself and read a book. The book I decided to read was “The Miracle of Self Love” by Barbel Mohr. I read it all in one day… Decided to read it again and this time take notes… I felt amazing! I did some of the exercises and felt amazing. The second book “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod helped to establish a routine, and slowly I felt that I was starting to make clear plans for the future… The first thing (which was my biggest concern) was to decide what I was going to do in the future, what kind of job I wanted to do but, most of all now I wasn’t thinking about a career to become successful, I was thinking about my dreams, I was asking myself what was my deepest desire and so I started to work on my OWN SELF-DEVELOPMENT.
This is my vision of what happened during the time I was ill, tomorrow on the Me On Focus Podcast I’ll have an open Chat with my Husband where he will describe what it feels like to have a positive wife, always happy, never stopping always working 24/7 and ready to go out for dinner and parties always surrounded by friends to suddenly having a totally different wife which is not being able to step outside the house.
We always focus on ourselves on what we’ve been through during the bad moments but we forget that people around us also suffer and for them, it’s not easy to battle against this invisible illness seeing that whatever they say or do doesn’t help much.
I’m a firm believer that nobody can help you fight depression, unfortunately, the healing process must start inside of us, inside of you… You must decide: ENOUGH. What a person with Depression most needs is love and time.
Thank you so much for reading me, leave a comment a below.
Common Symptoms and Signs of Depression
- not going out anymore
- not getting things done at work/school
- withdrawing from close family and friends
- relying on alcohol and sedatives
- not doing usually enjoyable activities
- unable to concentrate
- lacking in confidence
- ‘I’m a failure.’
- ‘It’s my fault.’
- ‘Nothing good ever happens to me.’
- ‘I’m worthless.’
- ‘Life’s not worth living.’
- ‘People would be better off without me.’
- tired all the time
- sick and run down
- headaches and muscle pains
- churning gut
- sleep problems
- loss or change of appetite
- significant weight loss or gain